macOS / iOS user having to use Windows at work?

So my office might be moving some of us to use Windows desktop at work :unamused:, and while this makes a lot of sense (I am in the IT department, and currently have to boot in to a Windows VM to do some development work on Visual Studio anyway), I am really dreading the change.

Does anyone face such an issue? How do you go about it?
One of the thing I thought of off the top of my head were having to switch to cross-platform tool (like Todoist) or having web apps for some other tools (like Bear). Not sure if I’m missing anything else out though.

This also opens up other possibilities - I currently use a 2016 MBP for both work and personal (the device is technically mine under our company’s HR scheme), and I’m about to get married and move into my own house in the next few years too. I might just end up getting an iMac for home, and an iPad for work and leisure.

I have a PC on my desk at work. Currently, I’ve also got a Mac mini sitting next to it and I switch back and forth, but in the past, I also used PC/MacBook Pro and PC/iPad pairings.

The PC gets used for email (Outlook), editing Office documents on the office’s shared drive, and specialty software (ArcGIS, TransCAD).

I do my task management using OmniFocus on the Mac (lots of tasks get into OF by forwarding emails from the PC to the OmniFocus mail drop). Most of my writing starts in Bear or Ulysses on the Mac, eventually getting exported to a Word document in Dropbox which shows up on my PC. The Mac also gets used for most of my web browsing, programming (Python), and outlining (OmniOutliner). I deal with PDFs either on the Mac (Preview, PDF Expert) or my iPad Pro (PDF Expert or LiquidText). I can also do email on the Mac using the Office 365 web interface, but honestly doing it in Outlook on the PC is easier.

To distill it down, for me the real keys to making dual platform computing work are the OmniFocus mail drop, Dropbox, and Markdown editors that can output to Word format.

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In my experience, businesses follow the money, so find a good business case to keep the Mac, e.g keyboard maestro saves you x time for y dollars.

My day job is a full windows house, so I just took up iOS development as the business case, and it is a legit case, most business want more software to run on mobile devices and IT needs to be able to cater to that :wink:

Living cross platform is not all that bad, there are a lot of options, such as mail drop with omnifocus, it’s just a question of how much you want to tinker to get the old things working as opposed to just switching platforms

I have a MacBook adorable at work, and because it’s my only machine (many of us get a laptop and a desktop) I talked my boss into letting me have a virtual machine running on our server hardware (he has one too). THis is better than a virtual machine on my MacBook because I can also remote into it to work from home - or indeed from any machine. I don’t need to use it for development though, but I thought Visual Studio worked on Mac? (I know I have on my to do list to install it so i can do a better job of reading my colleague’s code!).

I like Ben’s suggestion: show them how much time you’re saving with automation on the Mac that can’t be done on Windows (Keyboard Maestro and Hazel plus AppleScript are my combination that make people wonder when I find time to do anything!). The other thing could be to show them the (I want to say IBM?) study where Macs came out cheaper to support than WIndows.

My Cross Platform tools:

  • IDEs, I use the JetBrains suite.
  • OmniFocus for Web, this is in early beta (a very limited group), but it lets me see what I need.
  • Email syncs between all clients anyway, I use Outlook on the Windows machine.
  • A Dropbox folder of txt files.

Exclusively on Windows I use the following:

  • Notepad++ (to replace BBEdit)
  • Baretail (for tailing log files)
  • Putty (for SSH)
  • WinSCP (for (S)FTP)

I also have my 10.5" iPad Pro that goes almost everywhere with me, so if I couldn’t be a cross platform user, I would still have a iOS to one side to allow me to automate many things (such as email via Workflow.Shortcuts).

Yeah that was an IBM study, I worked there at the time and moved to a Mac, it’s how I got into Macs actually it was pretty sweet.

Visual studio and the .Net core does work on Mac

Link to the support doc

I found the transition to a Mac pretty smooth since I was using sublime text at the time which is cross platform, though I have moved to VS code since.

I know that android has an unofficial omnifocus client so I would not be surprised if there is one for windows too.

The main loss is platform automation and that sweet sweet bash shell.

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I really think it depends on the business you work for.

I work for a very large organisation, PCs everywhere with few exceptions. If I forced a lot I probably could get away with a Mac to then be connecting into a Citrix 90% of my time. So I stuck with Windows. On top, the system is pretty much locked down, ie no un-authorised apps can be installed or USB drives attached.

My Task manager of choice is Todoist, mainly because of its Web ersion which works everywhere

I use OneNote or NotePadd++ depending on the note I’m taking. There’s obvious no cloud integration with my personal iOs devices, but good tools overall.

G-Suite: Gmail, Calendar and Drive to check emails, add/check appointments if I don’t have my iPhone with me, and the Drive to save files to open later at home or on the go in my iPad or iPhone.

The only quest I’m still on is to find a good web based text editor, to avoid download/upload files to/from my working machine. Would be amazing to have a Google Docs for txt or md files… any suggestions please let me know

Hope this helps :grinning: in my case it’s definitely making me use my Mac less at home and pushing metowards a iOS lifestile for personal stuff…and I’m enjoying the journey

@Ben_Lincoln haha if I thought I’d have a chance, I’d have talked to my boss about it. He’s a complete Windows advocate, there’s literally no chance that getting a Mac would be a possibility unfortunately. In fact, he has always been actively getting us to change to a Windows, but because we were using personal devices, he couldn’t force us to get a Mac.

@RosemaryOrchard, is your company using Gmail or Exchange? I’m toying with the idea of switching to Outlook everywhere, but I don’t really like the way Outlook works. One idea that I had was to stick to the web browser on laptops/desktops for my email needs, and to continue using apps on my phone.

@AFC, you just gave me an idea to look for web-based markdown editors that also work with Dropbox - this might just be able to help ease the pain that there’s no web version of Bear (yet, anyway). Digging around a bit found me https://stackedit.io/app# . Not sure if it will help anyone, but I might look into using something like this on the browser and maybe Byword or something similar on iOS/Mac to manage my notes.
I’m also “looking forward” to using iOS more haha. This might be the one reason for me to justify getting an iPad.

Thanks for your input though! :slight_smile:

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We host our own Exchange server - the calendar integration is the part I really like, as it’s easy to schedule meetings and find a room. Plus I have several scripts running (for my whole department) which lets us import our holidays from our holiday tracking system, etc.

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I work in a 100% Windows environment which is completely locked down - I can’t access any websites requiring a logon from my work terminal. Nor can I access my email outside the desktop logon or a remote Citrix client. There are so many things I wish I could do on the Mac but in the end, the double-handling isn’t worth the time it takes.

Having said that, I use my Macbook and iPad extensively at work - predominately for notetaking but also for brainstorming. I use OF for task management at the moment and manage the calendar by forwarding all appropriate invites to my gmail account, which I hook into Busycal. If I need to, I run the Citirx client on my Macbook so I can flick back and forth between tools.

Is it a neat fit? Nope. Not even close. But I cobble it together and it kind of works, for me at least.

Haha sounds like you’re really automating everywhere you go. I assume this automation is on a Windows system?

Visual Studio for Mac isn’t the same as Visual Studio on Windows. On Mac, it’s a rebranded Xamarin Studio - a rather different product.

.NET Core is a complete rewrite of .NET and is not 100% compatible with “classic” .NET; the entire framework isn’t there and likely won’t be, especially the GUI portions. You can’t just take a .NET application and run it on .NET Core.

Oh ok, I am a Java dev, most of the time, so I had not put the effort in to know the difference.

Forgot to mention that I also have a Synology NAS at home which is very useful when I need to save files/notes that for any reason don’t want to store in my GDrive. I just log in from my browser.

And I thought my access was bad… :grinning:

Haha, well it doesn’t seem like we are going to go nuclear - I’m helping to set up the MDM portion for our office, so at least I will have a bit heads up first before we actually reach that stage :sweat_smile:

It’s actually running on a Linux server and talking to our Exchange servers!

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Wow haha! I can’t even :sweat_smile:

What do people use for note taking. I’ve messed some with OneNote in the past but its not my favorite thing and for awhile used Evernote. I like Bear from what I used in the past and am a Apple Notes user now.

Before my IT department got draconian with security, I used Apple Notes with my Exchange account. You can see the notes in Outlook’s Notes module (Mail, Calendar, Notes, etc). Now I can no longer connect as Exchange. Instead, I have to use a single-application password to configure Mail with IMAP. I can also use Notes, but no contacts or calendar.

It is strange, but when I configured Notes with IMAP, I had to copy all the messages over from my Exchange Notes to my IMAP notes. Since I did that, everything continues to sync fine.